PLANNING chiefs have agreed proposals to extend Purbeck’s Kemps Country House hotel.

Hotel owners want to construct a two-storey extension to the rear of the building, which will provide an additional three bedrooms, a new kitchen, bathroom and extra storage.

However, neighbours had raised concerns about possible flood risks and light pollution, which could affect their sleep.

Members of Purbeck District Council’s (PDC) planning committee rubber-stamped the plans at their latest meeting, after the proposals were adjourned from the previous meeting, in January, so further investigations could be carried out on issues relating to potential flooding at the site.

The hotel, at East Stoke, near Wareham, is situated in designated open countryside.

Committee members initially considered the application because three PDC councillors, representing the ward where the development was proposed, deemed it necessary.

The original report to committee, from PDC planning case officer Alexandra Dones, had recommended granting permission.

The latest report, which included amendments following further investigations into the flood risks, also recommended granting permission.

Ms Dones said: “Following the deferral of the application, the drainage engineer was re-consulted specifically regarding potential ground water flooding issues on and off site. The drainage engineer commented that the application proposes to demolish a rear single storey extension and to replace this with a two storey extension on virtually the same footprint.

“The proposed extension is marginally smaller than the existing and in her opinion, the proposals would not impact on the overall ground water flood risk in the site.”

The occupier of the nearby Coach House, Stephen Harrison, originally lodged objections, claiming additional light pollution from the extension would have a ‘negative impact’ on neighbouring properties, potentially affecting their quality of sleep.

In addition, concerns were raised about traffic noise, loss of privacy and highway safety.

East Stoke Parish Council lodged its concerns the proposals would exacerbate current ‘flooding issues’ at the site. They are also worried it remains unclear whether the building will continue to be used as a hotel or become a private residence.

Ms Dones said: “In regard to ground water flooding, because of the minor nature of the development proposals and the minimal alteration to the existing sub ground structure, there is not likely to be any change to the existing off site flood risk or ground water levels.”